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Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead

biological needs
ego gratification
human needs
prejudice (-ial)


Lesson 5: Motivation

must learn how to influence the behavior of
subordinates so that their personal goals
complement or reinforce the goals of
According to psychologist Abraham
H. Maslow, human beings are influenced by
a progression of needs. In Maslow’s theory,
human needs develop from lower to higher
needs (see the illustration of a pyramid).
Maslow believed that although relatively
few people reach the top level, those needs
lie dormant in all of us. To be creative in the
way we conduct our lives and use our talents,
we must first satisfy the basic needs. The
satisfaction of these basic needs motivates
people to reach higher levels. It is important
to remember that one person’s needs are the
same as those of another — they simply
vary in the degree of importance.

Leaders spend a great deal of
time and effort studying the technical
aspects of their jobs. However, in order
to lead effectively, they must also
know what makes people “tick.” By
studying human behavior, leaders learn
why people act and react in certain
ways. Plus, leaders who care about
their subordinates and are attentive to
their needs are more able to influence
them in accomplishing unit goals. This
lesson identifies those basic needs and
it explains how they can be satisfied.

Studying human behavior helps leaders
to acquire the knowledge they need to better
understand themselves and those they lead.
It is important that leaders learn why
human beings act and react in certain ways and
to identify various types of behavior. They also


Thus, people generally behave in a
way that first satisfies their needs for physical
comfort and safety, then they satisfy their
needs for social acceptance and ego

Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application

Some of these qualities are beliefs. 67 . A leader’s lack of concern for this need is quickly evident to perceptive people and affects their motivation to follow the leader into dangerous situations. and attitudes. values. Commit time and effort to listen to and learn about them. or needs that cause people to behave in certain ways and do certain things. you cannot understand the “why” of your followers’ actions. and recognize them as individuals with different backgrounds and different personalities. Try to observe. In this chapter. you must have a knowledge of individual and group behavior — without this knowledge. Other aspects of human nature are the potential for good and bad behavior. HUMAN NEEDS Leaders must know and understand the members of their unit. they must satisfy both the personal needs of their subordinates as well as their work-related goals. The leadership principle. In short. Human nature is the common set of qualities shared by all human beings. The most basic of these factors is human needs. There are certain factors. they include the need for safety and security. By showing that you care. become personally acquainted with. Lesson 5: Motivation Leaders need the support of followers in order to accomplish their goals. Therefore. you must know why they act the way they do. As a leader. values. A leader quickly loses respect if he does not show genuine concern for the safety needs of subordinates. leaders can influence behavior to some degree. you need to understand them as individuals — their interests. scholars have studied human behavior and have offered hundreds of explanations of human nature and instinct and how they affect actions. Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application Human needs are those necessary for a person’s existence and for mental and emotional stability. and character traits. It is not enough just to know a team member’s name. we will concentrate on the human needs. Simple acts of kindness or an indication that they care about their subordinates can often change a poor attitude to a better one. Safety needs are one of the most basic of the biological needs and include the desire for security and for law and order.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead LEADERSHIP DEMANDS THE STUDY OF HUMAN NATURE AND BEHAVIOR In order for leaders to motivate. elements. to lead effectively. you can earn their trust and respect. “know your subordinates and look out for their welfare (or well-being)” goes hand-in-hand with this discussion of motivation and human needs. they will willingly work to help you accomplish the mission. People need to feel secure. If leaders understand subordinates’ needs and either satisfy them or help to satisfy them. For years. To be successful in this principle. Whether or not they put their best effort in the performance of their duty and achieving the unit’s goal depends on the satisfaction of those needs. The human needs required for existence are physical or biological needs . If they trust you. in addition to food and water. stress factors. The behavior of team members is often driven by their desire to satisfy certain physical and safety needs. leaders must demonstrate that they value and support their subordinates. and human needs.

Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Lesson 5: Motivation The psychological needs provide for mental and emotional stability: belonging or social acceptance. and a sense of belonging to the group. To ease these tensions. esteem. and treating them as important contributing members of the team. everyone can attain their intermediate goals and achieve lifelong satisfaction. Social needs are important motivators. • The esteem needs are those that stem from the person’s desire for achievement. respect. Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application . ⇒ Can only be filled by an outside source. Tangible rewards might be time off. The leader can directly recognize subordinates for their performance and show appreciation by intangible rewards such as a simple “well done” or a pat on the back. leaders help satisfy the need for esteem. 68 Self-fulfillment needs occupy the top of the hierarchy. These may include the pursuit of knowledge and beauty. ⇒ Are based on and developed through human beings’ relationships with each other and society in general. love. A lack of esteem can make people anxious and tense. recognition. or whatever else is required for the fulfillment of one’s potential. Maslow suggested that psychological needs: Most people want distinction. Maslow added to the motivation theory the idea that some of these needs take precedence over others and the suggestion that achieving one level of satisfaction releases new needs and motivations. Many corporate vice presidents desire to be presidents and many movie extras desire to be major stars. hard but meaningful work. and affection. By respecting subordinates. esteem needs are just as important for human life as food and water. and favorable evaluations. • According to Maslow. social acceptance includes the need for self-respect. They want logical rules and regulations. recognizing them as individuals. and promotions. but it takes hard work and determination. recommendations for awards. and self-fulfillment. • The needs for belonging and for social acceptance rest on the person’s desire to be an accepted member of the group and to have good personal relationships with all members. Complete self-fulfillment is possible. In addition to wanting to belong to a group and to be respected by others in that group. and appreciation. people might engage in random or desperate activities. but they are less obvious than physical needs. The following is a brief description of the three psychological needs. status . comradeship. Although only a few people ever reach their ultimate dreams. but these desires are realized in only a few cases. ⇒ Function in much the same way as biological needs do.

Groups have common goals and established leadership. successful leaders must be more concerned with the well-being of their people than they are with themselves. These needs may require group members to change or adjust their needs to fit the group’s norm. By constantly showing this level of concern to their subordinates. they will work hard and do their best in order to maintain acceptance by the other members of the group. By explaining the reasoning behind decisions and demonstrating their own enthusiasm for the task. they provide direction and assistance in accomplishing the goal. They must go out of their way to give time. they do not want to let their team members down or lose their respect. Group norms are a collection of the needs of the individuals in the group. energy. personal relationships between the members cause them to conform to certain standards set by the group. there are group norms that are established to meet the needs of the group. This direction should also include information on the required standards of performance. Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application Lesson 5: Motivation LEADERS’ CONCERN FOR GROUP NEEDS Leaders must provide purpose and goals for the group. Leaders must realize that. group members will seek individual satisfaction instead of group satisfaction.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead GROUP NEEDS In addition to individual human needs. Therefore. In other words. In groups. However. When such groups want to achieve a goal. The group will have confidence and faith in their leaders as long as they meet the group’s needs and expectations. Unselfish leaders avoid providing for their own comfort and personal advancement at the 69 . these leaders receive a high degree of respect and loyalty from their subordinates along with their desire to accomplish team goals. they will not be accepted until they earn the respect and confidence of the group by satisfying its needs. By selecting the best course of action to reach a goal. They all want to do their part. they provide purpose. if leaders do not live up to those needs or expectations. although they are recognized as leaders because of their position. This camaraderie is due to the need for social acceptance and status within the group — a force that is stronger in leaders because they need the respect of their subordinates for their own self-esteem. and counsel to help their subordinates live up to their potential.

⇒ Establish and maintain teamwork within the unit. ⇒ Create self-motivation in subordinates — this is the most powerful and lasting form of motivation. 70 Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application . and recreation of subordinates before that of their own. and leaders must be open to every situation. a chance for promotion. Forces combine to determine what a person is motivated to do in a given situation. or believe the opposite — that people are all good and will always be motivated to do the right thing. and some are external — such as danger. Instead. The leader’s part within this interaction is to: ⇒ Thoroughly understand human needs and stay directed toward satisfying them. and the combination of personal and group needs.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Lesson 5: Motivation expense of others. They motivate people to behave in certain ways and to do certain things. Remember. True leaders place themselves last in priority and share the dangers and hardships with their subordinates. Some of these forces are internal — such as fears and beliefs. leading to goal/task accomplishment. Keep in mind that this view is a simplification for you to use as a guide. and other forces. or pressures from a senior. the environment. or groups to action. The following is a discussion of 14 practical principles (guidelines) that flow from this basic view of motivation. Do not hold to a narrow view that people are motivated only by fear. (Note: Do not confuse these principles with the 11 leadership principles. etc. worthy causes. loyalty and 14 PRINCIPLES OF MOTIVATION People are motivated by many forces — values. Consequently. Leaders should place the comfort. or one’s family. self-interest. pleasure. Most people can become self-motivated if taught leadership attributes. Keep a broad point of view on human nature and motivation. a complex array of forces can motivate people. Realizing that different people react to varying needs will allow you to arrive at appropriate decisions and actions in a particular situation. It is difficult to respect leaders who seek their own comfort over that of their subordinates or who hoard credit for achievement made possible by subordinates. MOTIVATING BY SATISFYING NEEDS Although there is no simple formula for motivation.) needed from subordinates.) ⇒ Create a caring climate within the unit — one that promotes trust and respect as well as an understanding and acceptance of the “why” of subordinates’ actions. It assumes that needs motivate people and that a person’s motivation to reach a goal depends on whether the person perceives that the goal will satisfy any of those needs. Needs form the basis for actions. professionalism. people. kindness. the situation. we can provide a basic view of what motivates people. motivation is a total process that is determined by the interaction of human needs. ⇒ Satisfy individual and group needs by establishing goals or tasks for individuals and groups to reach. subordinates. leaders must understand how needs drive individuals. since needs form the basis for actions and leaders must motivate by understanding these needs. competence. ⇒ Understand how to motivate in order to obtain the behavior and conduct (confidence.

Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Principle 1 Make the needs of subordinates coincide with unit tasks and missions. affecting the morale. they may lose confidence in their judgment. While they want leaders to set the example in all things and to share hardships with them. or a letter are only small tangible objects. Every leader in the chain of command must be involved in the discipline of the organization. conduct reprimands. and other corrective actions as privately and as quickly as possible after an infraction. If leaders show their subordinates how to act. The previous two examples were the “carrot” or the reward approach. counseling sessions. Principle 2 Reward individual and team behavior that supports unit tasks and missions. cohesion. but they mean a great deal to someone psychologically. The opportunity to win a reward is a sound motivator. Principle 3 Counsel subordinates who behave in a way that is counter to unit tasks. missions. be certain that the task. before resorting to this approach. or a favorable evaluation. a certificate.” Each case requiring counseling or disciplinary action also provides an opportunity to teach subordinate leaders how to counsel and take disciplinary action. By doing these actions.” Use this principle only when it is necessary to motivate people who do not respond to positive Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application Lesson 5: Motivation motivation. 71 . a medal. This shows subordinates that even their immediate supervisor has the power of “the stick. However. and discipline of the unit. If they see leaders taking unnecessary risks. the motivation to keep working for more recognition normally increases. they have a powerful way to motivate. Once the higher needs are awakened by such rewards. and subordinates do not expect that. mission. Remember. and standards. they are teaching them at the same time. Rewards can also include a simple “well done” or a “pat on the back. A word of caution is in order here. Do not humiliate or embarrass someone in front of others. Subordinates will have a natural desire to work to satisfy their own needs. No one is superhuman. they do not want their leaders to take unnecessary risks. Principle 4 Set the example in all things. When leaders link these interests and needs with those of the group. A ribbon. Awards symbolize a proud achievement. This principle is the opposite. leaders are also proving their own degree of self-discipline. If leaders follow regulations and unit operating procedures. they are demonstrating the expected policies to be followed. These rewards have motivating power because they are a way of satisfying social and higher needs. or standard was clearly communicated prior to the infraction.” a promotion. it is the “stick.

and challenge them to wrestle with them. This principle: ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ 72 Encourages (by teaching and coaching) the development of junior leaders. Give subordinates something to hope for. by involving subordinates in planning. Morale has a tremendous impact on motivation. emotional. Morale is the mental. Everyone has a unique combination of experience. It is a product of cohesion. decision-making. Makes communication clearer — giving everyone a better understanding of the mission and what they must do as individuals and as a team to achieve it. unrecognized. hopeful. a leader must always be aware of how his or her actions and decisions affect it. values. have meaningful relationships. Things that seem of no importance to leaders may be of critical importance to subordinates. energy. balance the demands of school or work with the Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application . Others may not know how to: handle money. Recognition and appreciation from respected leaders are powerful motivating forces.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Principle 5 Develop morale and esprit within the unit. causing a person to have a unique way of dealing with life. and spiritual state of an individual. By contributing ideas to a plan. Alleviate causes of the personal concerns of subordinates so that they can concentrate on their jobs. Lesson 5: Motivation Principle 7 Have subordinates participate in the planning of upcoming events. soul. subordinates then have a personal interest in seeing the plan succeed. the overall consciousness of the unit that the subordinate identifies with and feels a part of. planning. stay out of trouble. Principle 6 Principle 8 Give subordinates tough problems. and the will to get things done. appreciated. Plus. Esprit means team spirit — it is the spirit. Coach subordinates on their problemsolving. Clear understanding of the mission and the plan prevents ill-founded rumors and fears based on a lack of knowledge. Participating in the planning of future events can be a highly motivating experience. leaders show that they recognize subordinates’ abilities and appreciate them. character traits. trusting communication bond between the members of the chain of command. which improves teamwork. worthless. and state of mind of the unit. Also. it improves communication. or depressed. Creates an open. and skills. knowledge. and implementing skills. Improved communication also gives everyone a clearer picture of the objective so that they can use their initiative to achieve it. Motivates people who must carry out the plan. because hope builds morale. Since everything a leader does affects morale in one way or another. confident. Some people may have family problems that leaders must empathize with before they can help them. It is how a person feels — happy. sad. High morale strengthens courage.

these difficulties will cause them to worry. but leaders must be careful how they apply it. and the unit. They require ways to get beneath the “image” to the real substance — the true strengths and weaknesses that influence effectiveness and the real leadership causes of those strengths and weaknesses. and self-fulfillment needs. You want them to have the right values. and prevent them from being productive. Keep clear. character traits. 73 . Perhaps. this principle means caring for subordinates. positive peer pressure that is based on professional norms and values is healthy. Principle 10 Keep subordinates informed about missions and standards. and to live happy. and motivation. open communications with subordinates so that they can accomplish their mission as a team and use initiative in the absence of orders. social. and skills because these are the tools that will allow them to grow. Simply put. On the other hand. Leaders should use them sparingly and carefully because they are only the “mask” of a unit and they may present a false image. Principle 12 Avoid using statistics as a major method of evaluating units and motivating subordinates. Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application Lesson 5: Motivation Principle 11 Use positive peer pressure to work for you. productive lives.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead needs of the family. Leaders at all levels of the chain of command must do all they can to help subordinates meet their physical. leaders should teach subordinates how to handle their lives in a healthy. Leaders should strive to help their subordinates as much as they can by keeping them informed of situations and decisions. morale. In order to help alleviate these causes of personal concerns. safety. If not used properly. Statistics in themselves are not necessarily bad or good. and through counseling — when necessary. the leader. Principle 9 Ensure that subordinates are properly cared for and have the tools they need to succeed. knowledge. Leaders simply do not know until they look into the true causes of the symptoms. or grow professionally and personally. Valid evaluation systems and effective leaders require much more than statistics. encouraging feedback. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivating force. consume their energy. they indicate a serious problem. Good leaders make the time to get out and to see the real substance of a unit. esteem. For those people who are having real or perceived challenges. constructive way. it can backfire with serious consequences. perhaps not. They are surface indicators or symptoms that leaders need to check into further. Teach them all you know. Improper use of statistics has a devastating effect on trust.

Did you recognize any? 74 • The leader has a consistent record of checking and evaluating performance. This “power down” approach helps leaders get the best out of their subordinates. that person’s motivation can be seriously damaged. there are similarities. establish challenging goals within those capabilities. Therefore. This principle: Encourages the delegation of authority. • The leader knows that some team players feel that completion of the task itself is sufficient reward. cohesion. this belief will help them to achieve their own goals (or needs) as well as those of the group. and assistance. it is easy for subordinates to feel that they never Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application . Make each subordinate feel special. if supervisors never compliment them on a job well done. Racial. exciting. or other prejudicial talk and behavior are contrary to the principles on which America was founded. and they strive to make subordinates feel that they are as responsible as them for achieving unit standards and goals. and the need to believe that their work is necessary and important. However. Leaders give responsibility to subordinates who have the skill and will to handle it. and employ them in accordance with those capabilities (one of the leadership principles). they feel needed and motivated. Although these 14 principles of motivation are different from the 11 leadership principles. When people feel that their jobs are important and that they have responsibility. sexual. TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE REWARDS People work for the opportunity to receive tangible (a plaque) or intangible (a “pat on the back”) rewards. when subordinates are convinced that their chances for success are good enough to warrant the effort. Creating assurance that good performance will be rewarded is based on three factors: Principle 14 Do not tolerate any form of prejudicial talk or behavior. leaders must know their subordinates’ capabilities.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Principle 13 Make the jobs of subordinates as challenging. if they are not convinced that good performance is the best way to satisfy their needs. and meaningful as possible. • The leader has an equally consistent record of using rewards in respect to improving performance. Leaders can also build confidence by offering support. and discipline within a unit. Likewise. However. encouragement. Lesson 5: Motivation BUILDING MOTIVATION People will have little motivation to do something if they believe they cannot succeed. is necessary and important. If a person feels that he or she is the object of prejudice. even if it is tiring and unpleasant. Prejudice can also destroy teamwork. their motivation will be low and they will have little or no interest in doing their best. They need to believe that what they are doing. Experience and study have proven that people need meaningful work.

the result may be the same as punishing their subordinates — they Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application After a while. People resent a lack of respect and will respond with that same disrespect by doing only what is necessary to get by.” Tom Peters. creativity. take the case of Alicia. motivation will be strong. “Now. and often worked late.” Alicia’s effort was getting two different responses. took short lunch and coffee breaks. and understanding that are fundamental to a disciplined. subordinates will have a much greater incentive to work for that leader. Highly motivated teams with high morale usually have leaders who take a personal interest in them and are understanding. 75 . When leaders fail to provide recognition for a task. but he said nothing. Alicia’s fellow workers began ribbing her about her long hours. Either of these beliefs can destroy motivation.” they urged. Author “In Search of Excellence” POSITIVE FEEDBACK Some leaders tend to focus on mistakes. Researchers have found that positive feedback is much more productive than negative feedback in motivating and producing changes in behavior. and ability of the people they employ. a young artist who is just starting a new job at an advertising agency. Leaders must build bonds of mutual respect. Successful business leaders share a bonedeep belief in the intelligence. that’s a good worker. cohesive team. confidence. For example. “Too many managers treat employees like children — and then are surprised when they behave like children.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead do good work or that their leaders are not interested in their work. “We’re going to take a long lunch today. if leaders recognize and confirm each person’s importance and value to the organization. So. You’re making us look bad by working so hard. trust. She came to work early. her impression from the boss was a neutral response — she thought he did not care about her work. take a break. *** Alicia was just hired as an artist on the staff of an ad agency. or they do not praise people who are giving their best effort. If leaders can find a way to compliment followers rather than to criticize their work. “Come on. It is a leader’s job to provide positive feedback — the “pat on the back” — that gives satisfaction. come along. and she was eager to make a good impression. Lesson 5: Motivation will not repeat the behavior. they forget to comment on jobs that are done well. Her boss noticed and approved.” But. Positive thoughts do not count unless they are expressed. he did not tell her. On the other hand. Her boss noticed and thought.

but she just tried to be pleasant without letting her work slide. she was getting a negative response from her coworkers. who told her: “Alicia. Invisible threads weave together many of the techniques and attributes of leadership. must know in order to do your job properly — the understanding of human nature and how that understanding impacts on what you must know about yourself. taking long lunches. your job. I’m glad to see you putting so much effort into learning your new job. we may decide to let you go. Since the negative response outweighed the neutral response. and your unit. She remembered the boss’s words and kept reminding herself that her career meant more to her than becoming “one of the gang. I expect a full day’s work from you. “I’ve noticed that lately you’ve been goofing off. She wanted to fit in. as a leader. If you keep coming back late from lunch or leaving early. Throughout this lesson. we tried to illustrate how understanding needs is intertwined with a leader’s values. the boss rewarded hard work and dedication. but I just wanted you to know that your hard work is noticed and appreciated. the story could have ended this way if the boss had used proper leadership techniques: The head of the art department noticed that the new artist was putting in long hours. and his resulting neutral response turned her enthusiasm into disillusionment.” In the second scenario. Alicia began coming in late. If she works hard. We both know that most of the other artists don’t work as hard as you do. Your knowledge and proper application of human nature is essential — it is the bedrock of a your character as a leader. and character and with various leadership traits and principles. Her boss noticed the change and called her aside. what you do as a leader — the application of these skills — flows from this “being” and “knowing” foundation. Alicia is caught in a no-win situation. your subordinates. if she does not. Simply telling her that her work was appreciated made the difference between productivity and resentment. I’m sure you’ll have a bright future with this company. her coworkers are displeased. her boss is displeased. This impressed the boss.Chapter 2: Knowing How to Lead Lesson 5: Motivation Meanwhile. and leaving early. Then.” This lesson explained one of the most important aspects that you. This is a situation where poor leadership ruined things for everyone. but they thought she was making them look bad. However. This knowledge will give you a stronger foundation for what you must be and what you must do. Alicia’s boss failed to communicate positive feedback. *** Alicia’s coworkers still gave her a hard time about working so much. coworkers.” CONCLUSION *** Now. Alicia’s boss provided the positive response that she needed to overcome the negative response of her 76 Unit 2: Leadership Theory and Application . In the process. ethics.